Top portion of the west stained glass window at FBC.
While searching for a logo and graphics appropriate for First Baptist Church’s new mobile app for on-line giving, FBC’s Diaconate Chair and webmaster Gordon Coppoc sought out the beautiful stained glass window in the west wall of the sanctuary of the church and selected the center icon (pictured above). The stained glass window was a gift from the children of Abraham Levering Sr., an early deacon in the church, who died at age 79 in 1866. From a history of the church compiled in 1985 by member James “Jim” Grubb, we learn that Abraham Levering and his wife joined the church in 1854, and that “he was a patriarch of a great family who were true Christian and towers of strength in the church and the city.” The couple had 11 children and some became civic as well as church leaders and missionaries.
What is fascinating about this icon of our new app is the discovery of the scriptural reference on the Bible in the center of the floral display. Because it is so high on the window the small text was hard for Gordon to see until he used his Canon G15 camera on manual to enlarge the area. As it turns out, the text cites Genesis XXV: VIII (Genesis 25:8). The NIV version of the text reads:
Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people.
This is in reference to the biblical Abraham, “the father of many nations” who lived to be 175 years old and was an example of faith for three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
So packed into this icon/app is much to think about: family, faith, faithfulness, hope, beliefs that come from a shared beginning and assurance that we will be “gathered to our people” when we die.
Sylvia Mohler, 10/12/16